We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 8
The theme of chapter 8 A Celebration in Unity
The Joy of the Lord is your strength! This alone gives us reason to celebrate.
Psalm 28:7 King James Version (KJV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
In truth this is the key verse in the entire book of Nehemiah. When you want to give up, surrender and simply quit; look to the Lord your God. When life gets heavy and you want to walk away, lean on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:2 King James Version (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The teachers continue their work. Learning all about God is a process and though He never changes, our understanding of Him does. From different positions of our lives we can observe Him from different angles. The point is that our search to know Him can never end. We can never, in this life time, fully comprehend all there is to know about God.
Take time to celebrate. Leadership master, John Maxwell, has the law of victory. I remember a season in my military career where we were going for a series of awards. All areas of our battalion were being inspected and any flaw was revealed. The difficulty was that as soon as we passed one inspection or one test, there was another one immediately. We never had the opportunity to stop and celebrate. Eventually, the joy of our high standard eroded. Celebration brings energy. Make this a purposeful event in your family and in your organizations. Let them be like memorial stones that are used throughout the Bible. Let them be a reminder that God is faithful.
Again a critical leadership standard. You must give attention to the Word of God. Listen to it, read it, meditate on it, memorize it and most important live it. We must become people of the book.
Nehemiah 8: 14-15
We can get pretty worked up about the things of this world. But the truth is that we must keep in mind that this place is not our home. My destination is Heaven. I am simply a sojourner here on Earth. I will be a good visitor and leave it better than I found it. But my mind is always on the eternity. If you want to lead well, ask yourself, “How will this reflect Heaven?”
Nehemiah 8: 16-18
All of the people are united in joy. That unity is not based on simply ignoring each others flaws or things we disagree with. But rather based on the reading and living of God’s Word. They each had a changed mindset. A new heart and a new mind.
Ezekiel 36:26 New International Version (NIV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh